What’s included

  • Meet & greet at Christchurch airport
  • Private transfer to your Christchurch hotel
  • 13 nights accommodation in quality Hotels and B&Bs
  • Breakfast each day
  • Intermediate car hire with unlimited kilometres & daily insurance
  • TranzAlpine rail journey over Southern Alps

Optional highlights

  • A guided heli-hike into the dramatic alpine landscape of Franz Josef Glacier
  • Blow your mind with a visit to Puzzle World in Wanaka
  • A vintage steamship cruise on Lake Wakatipu
  • Walking along the Matukituki Valley to discover views of the Rob Roy Glacier
  • New Zealand’s French colony at Akaroa
  • Whalewatching from Kaikoura by boat or from the air
How To BookEnquire now

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch

We meet your flight and transfer you to your hotel: today is free for you to get your bearings.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 2 Christchurch to Greymouth to Hokitika

Board the TranzAlpine train for one of the world’s great rail journeys, across the Southern Alps to the West Coast.

Arrive in Greymouth and collect your rental vehicle for an afternoon drive along the rugged coastline to Hokitika, the former gold mining town so brilliantly captured by Eleanor Catton in her book The Luminaries. The BBC dramatisation starring Eva Green was filmed in and around Hokitika, which still has a frontier feel.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 3 Hokitika to Fox Glacier

Travel into Westland National Park, which extends from the surf-pounded beaches of the West Coast to the stunning snow-capped Southern Alps. Head into the native rainforest of the Westland National Park through the settlement of Franz Josef to Fox Glacier Village. Many of our travellers book a thrilling helicopter flight (weather permitting) to fly over the rivers of ice and land on a snow-field.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 4 Fox Glacier to Wanaka

Make a morning visit to Lake Matheson, where a clear day rewards you with superb reflections of the Mount Cook range. Continue south through the ever-changing scenery of native rainforest, bush-fringed lakes, crystal clear mountain streams and wild beaches into the rugged beauty of the Haast Pass to cross the Southern Alps mountain range. Travel around the shores of glacial Lakes Hawea and Wanaka into the charming township of Wanaka.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 5 Wanaka

Board a paddle boat or lake cruiser to explore Lake Wanaka, or drive to the delightful Glendhu Bay for easy walks and beautiful views.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 6 Wanaka to Queenstown

An easy drive over the Crown Range through orchards and farmlands to Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure playground and South Island’s busiest resort.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 7 Queenstown

There are experiences and activities to suit every thrill-level and budget in and around Queenstown. Hire a bike to explore local routes that are part of New Zealand’s National Cycle Trail. Throw yourself off a bridge whilst tied to a piece of elastic: this is the home of bungee jumping!

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 8 Queenstown to Milford to Te Anau

It is almost impossible to visit South Island and not make the pilgrimage to Milford Sound, one of the most remotely beautiful places in the world. Most visitors opt for a coach trip, to avoid the challenging drive deep into Fiordland National Park. On your return, overnight at Te Anau.

Country Hotel

Day 9 Te Anau to Dunedin

Roll through New Zealand’s sheep farming heartland through Gore and Balclutha to Dunedin, for city sightseeing.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 10 Otago Wildlife Excursions

Head out to the Otago peninsula, which protects the city from southern storms and gives shelter to penguins, seals and – uniquely – the Royal Albatross. Taiaroa Heads is this majestic bird’s only mainland nesting site in the world.

About 30 pairs nest every year, and as the cycle from egg-laying to fledgling takes almost 12 months, there is always fascinating behaviour to observe.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 11 Dunedin to Mount Cook

Time to head north along the coast road, but pause for the Moeraki Boulders, calcite formations 65 million years old. Turn inland to Mt Cook National Park where you can enjoy short walks to Kea Point or in the Hooker Valley for wonderful views of this alpine panorama. Overnight in the country township of Twizel.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 12 Mount Cook to Christchurch

Stop at the church of the Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo, one of New Zealand’s most photographed spots. Then cross the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch where you return your rental vehicle.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 13 Christchurch

This most English of New Zealand cities suffered a succession of terrible earthquakes in early 2011. Christchurch is re-inventing itself with typical Kiwi spirit and exciting new sights include the ‘cardboard’ cathedral and Re:START shopping mall in re-purposed shipping containers. A guided tour of the city will help you to understand the past, the present and future hopes for the city.

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 14 Depart Christchurch

After breakfast transfer to Christchurch International Airport for your flight home.

Day 1

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Private Hotel

Day 4 & 5

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 6 & 7

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Country Hotel

Day 9 & 10

Local Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Country Hotel

Day 12 & 13

Local Bed & Breakfast

Although New Zealand is one of the easiest countries to travel to, we realise that contemplating a long haul trip to the other side of the world can be daunting, so we’ve put together some essential information that you will need to know before you head off on your holiday.

We hope we’ve covered everything, but do give us a call if you have any other questions or queries or are unsure about any details.

The Geography

New Zealand is made up of two Islands, The North Island and The South Island. The majority of the population live on the North Island.

The country has an incredibly varied landscape. You’ll find wide, sweeping coastlines, spectacular mountain ranges, tropical rainforest, steaming volcanoes and stunning glacier regions. It truly has something for everyone, whether you’re seeking peace, quiet and relaxation, or the thrill and adrenaline rush of all the adventure it offers.

New Zealand also has 14 National Parks that showcase more than 30,000 square kilometres of wonderful nature and breathtaking scenery.

Time Difference

New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), making it one of the first countries in the world to welcome in each new day.

Like us here in the UK, New Zealand observes Daylight Saving, and so during their summer time (and our winter time) their clocks go forward one hour to GMT+13. Daylight saving begins on the last Sunday in September and ends on the first Sunday of the following April, when clocks are put back to GMT+12.

The Seasons

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand's seasons are the opposite way around to ours, so December to February are their hottest months, and also the most expensive time to visit. June to September is the peak season for skiing in the ski resorts of Wanaka, Queenstown and Canterbury on the South Island, and the in between or ‘shoulder seasons’ often offer the best of both worlds, with better prices, more accommodation options and less tourists while still enjoying bright sunny days and warm weather.

Health and Insurance

We realise how difficult can be for our older travellers to find travel Insurance at a reasonable cost, and after a lot of research, are confident that our current partner Holiday Extras offer the best value for money insurance policies.

Buy Insurance

You don’t need any vaccinations to travel to New Zealand, and you will find doctors and health centres in every large town and city. Calling 111 will contact the emergency services from anywhere in the country.

It’s perfectly safe to drink the tap water in New Zealand, so there is no need to worry about needing to purchase bottled water when you are there.

Airport Hotels, Parking & Lounge Passes

Depending on the time of your flight you may wish to avoid an early morning start by checking into an Airport hotel. With our partner, Holiday Extras, we are able to offer a range of hotel options and parking arrangements. There are also a number of airport lounges you can book if there is considerable waiting time between your flights. These lounges offer a range of facilities from refreshments and drinks to showers and comfortable seating areas in a quiet environment.

Book your Hotel, Parking or Lounge Access

Car Insurance

Car hire companies often charge an excess for damage caused to the car whilst you're behind the wheel even if it's not your fault. This can be upwards of £1000 meaning if you're involved in an accident, you'll have to pay a contribution to cover the damage

To reduce this amount they offer what is called an Excess Insurance or Damage Waiver, typically around $25-$30.00 per day. If you’re following a two or three week itinerary, this can add up to around $600.00

However you can purchase an annual excess car hire insurance in the UK for a lot less.

Our suggestion is to contact an insurance company such as insurance4carhire.com, With them you're able to reclaim the excess you’d have to pay in the unfortunate event of an accident or your car being stolen. You may also get more cover compared with waiving the excess at the car hire desk.

Visa Requirements

From 1 October 2019 you will need a Visa to travel to New Zealand as a British citizen or British Passport Holder. We are still awaiting final details from the New Zealand Immigration Department regarding this requirement.

All Silver Fern travellers will be advised by our office as to the nature of this process, prior to their travel to New Zealand.

For Silver Fern travellers contemplating stopovers en route to New Zealand or integrating a New Zealand holiday with a longer worldwide tour, a visa may be required.

For example an Australian tourist visa is necessary for anyone entering the country other than those in transit. Similarly entrants to America should have arranged an ESTA. These can be applied for online or through the Travel Visa Company, one of our trade partners who charge for this service.

Visit Travel Visa Company website

Currency and Credit Cards

The currency in New Zealand is the NZ Dollar. The exchange rate varies but as a general guide, there is NZ$2 / NZ$2.20 to every GBP£1.

You can use all major credit cards in New Zealand, and ATM’s are found as easily as they are in the UK, on most high streets, in shopping malls and in banks. You can also exchange foreign currency at banks, some hotels and bureau de change kiosks.

Do let your bank know you’ll be travelling before you leave home though to ensure that you’re able to use your card overseas.

What to pack

Holiday packing is always a challenge, especially when you’re going away for longer than a week or two, so we wrote a blog post offering our advice on how to pack for your New Zealand holiday – you can read it here. Remember to pack a good pair of sturdy walking boots if you’re planning to get out and explore some of the country on foot, and we recommend lightweight layers that you can add/remove depending on the weather.

Electronics and mobile devices

You can buy a prepaid Vodafone sim card at the airport or many of the local shop to put in your phone but its always worth checking with your mobile phone provider to see if they offer an overseas package before you leave home.

New Zealand electricity supply runs at 230/240 volts, and they use the same plug as in Australia, with two or three pins. You’ll need to use an adapter for all appliances, which can easily be purchased either in the UK before you travel or once you’re in New Zealand.

Wi-fi is widely available in most hotels and B&B’s and also in many cafes and eateries.

As far as possible we have endeavoured to make this information as accurate as possible, but we always recommend that you do make sure to double check things like Visa’s / Insurance etc before travel as changes do occur.

The Brown’s

Fantastic experience all round. All the accommodations were superb. Many thanks for your help with the doctors and pharmacies!

Julie Rhoney

I had been to a presentation and met Laura. She came across as very knowledgable and confident and she inspired me to seriously consider booking a once in a lifetime holiday.

The attention to detail given by Laura Ling was second to none I would have no hesitation in booking another holiday through Laura.

I cannot wait until I am able to return to NZ. Well, that was indeed the holiday of a lifetime… but we want a re run! There is still so much we want to see and do.

Many thanks for all your efforts, it all went swimmingly.

Mr Richardson

As you know this was my first holiday since the death of my wife, and when she was alive we had talked about adding a trip to New Zealand onto one of our visits to see our son and his wife in Sydney.

I was not sure whether I was ready to do it on my own.

I decided that the first move was to talk to someone so I spoke to John on the phone and arranged to come and have a chat. We had a long meeting and it all sounded ideal. All I needed to do was convince myself.

Once I made the decision everything was so easy thanks to you. You kept in touch right up to me going and I always felt that I had a good contact if I had a problem.

Now onto the tour. Not much to say. It was even better than I had expected. The coach and driver were top class, the hotels and food were very good and the itinerary meant we visited everywhere we needed to see New Zealand.

However, as you know the highlight of my 6 weeks away was meeting my 5 month old grandson in Sydney.

That said, I am so pleased I made the trip and even more pleased that I arranged it through Silver Fern Holidays; everything was first class.

“exceeded expectations”
“exceptional driver – very experienced”
“the mix of people only added to the enjoyment”